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10/17/2021 12:40 PM
Welcome, Ploni and nader fouad

10/15/2021 2:19 AM
merlot85, maycondelpiero and hoeltz, Welcome !

10/14/2021 10:06 AM
Thanks for the addition to the group. Seriously considering building a drum roaster along the lines of oldgrumpus's. Love the design and craftsmanship.

10/14/2021 4:00 AM
Morning, ar3mia ! and... coffee drink

10/12/2021 11:55 AM
Evan Slack and CupOfJoe, Welcome !

In Memory Of Ginny

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Seems to be a lot of talk these days about building a roaster v. buying
a market/stock/off the shelf roster.

" we who buy a market roaster are not secondhand bean roasters."

have thoughts or comments about building v. buying, post here.


BBQ grill
1) Money. If spending $300-$1500 won't hurt your budget, then buy.
2) Batch Size. If a batch size of 1/2 pound or less is OK with you, and 1) above is OK with you, then buy.
3) Uniformity. If you'd like to be able to talk directly with other users of the same machine, then buy.
4) Service. If you'd like to be able to have someone service and repair your machine, then buy.
5) Time. If your time is valuable to you, then buy.
6) Skills. If building and measuring and problem solving don't interest you, then buy.

1) Money. If you have very little to spend on a roaster
2) Skills. You are able and/or willing to learn, build, construct, solve problems
3) Time. You have plenty of time to invest
4) Service. You are fine with repairing or rebuilding as you run into problems
5) Uniformity. You don't mind translating your specific roaster nomenclature into more common wordings

6) Batch Size. You, my friend can build yourself a roaster with the batch size you'd like.

These are my observations based on experience Grin

Edited by seedlings on 11/06/2012 1:48 PM
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover

you have left out one very primary reason why some buy a roaster:

access to particular tools, unless you have them at hand, many are out of reach to buy for the average duck in terms of cost, yes depending on the roaster you want to build. most are not at the local yokel rent a tool store if you even have a rent a tool store in your area and I do not.

you have a very limited respect for your fellow roaster if you honestly think
your to build/to buy list remotely examines the reasons why some would buy v. build.

all of your points co-exist with each roaster and one is no more important to the other except what you have at your hands to work with...

I still say again:

" we who buy a market roaster are not secondhand bean roasters."

Some like to tinker and build stuff. Some just want roasted coffee with no hassle. Nothing wrong with either approach. If I had one of those Quest or Hottop roasters, I would probably open it up to see how it works and somehow modify it.
Probably break it in the process.

KKTO Roaster.

I agree. I have been taking things apart for 67 years, I stared at one. I seem to hear from some that those who buy a roaster are not equal to those who build.

I say not true. if you look at the mission statement for HRO it spells out:

Inspire, educate, encourage and assist those interested in great coffee and home roasting through networking, discussion and sharing.

this statement, I know, is meant for anyone who wants to roast regardless of if we choose to build a roaster or buy one are equal.

Our site has developed into a site for many roaster builders but we are still here and exist for the roaster.

#1 priority....fresh coffee. All else is choice.

I tinker because I like to and I can. If building wasn't an option, there are alot of great off the shelf options to achive the primary objective (see priority #1)

My first roaster was purchased from the late, great M. Sivetz. It was a heat gun with a glorified funnel attached.
No computer.
I still feel it produced the biggest blueberry bomb I ever had! Not bad for under 100$
I roast at home as a hobby. And building roasters has become part of that hobby. In fact I have more fun building roasters than I do roasting coffee Shock
This is a site for
1) people who roast coffee at home

Which, in my mind, has very little to do with the means of roasting. Though, admittedly, I haven't used any off-shelf roasters, so my familiarity on that level is unhelpful to those home roasters. Familiarity with a type of roaster is wholly different from value of said roaster.

Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
how can roasting coffee at home have nothing to do with a roaster?




ginny wrote:

how can roasting coffee at home have nothing to do with a roaster?



Oven... frying pan... Grin

I said, "very little to do with the means of roasting." In other words, what kind of roaster you use is not the issue. Roasting coffee is the issue.

Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
In favor of not building here is one: roaster building is very hard. If ones threshold for temporary setbacks is low, it could make one run the other way.
Bad coffee prevails when good coffee roasters stand by and do nothing.
John Despres
I've built & I've purchased. I like doing both.

But I do it all because I like fresh roasted coffee. No... I like roasting fresh roasted coffee.

I do have the option to visit my friends at Rowster where the bean is truly respected. It's outstanding and is always fresh. If I ever give up roasting that's where I'll buy my coffee.

In the mean time, I like roasting.

Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
For me, it was the great joy of seeing something I built with just parrts laying around that was really funky (the Jethro roaster) and actually worl well. I kind of felt like this:


Koffee Kosmo
I like to share my inventions
But with some encouragement from the general "non DIY" populous I produced and offered a kit

May have something in the works as to a fully manufactured Koffee kosmo design roaster with just the right amount of bells and whistles without going over the top

I home roast and I like it. Designer of the KKTO
Roaster Build information
Blog -

Bezzera Strega, Mazzer Robur Grinder, Pullman Tamper Convex,
(KKTO) Turbo Oven Home Roaster.
I?ve been a buyer and I?m not sure I can become a builder, but I?d like to try.

Over the years, I?ve bought a series of hot air corn poppers for direct use as roasters. Unmodified. Worked decently well, but gave me little control. Still gave me useful experience.My ?technique? became somewhat elaborate, especially for cooling in colander with a mist of cold water.

A few years ago, after getting a small contract for freelance work, I finally bought a dedicated roaster, an i-Roast 2. Had been eyeing it for a while. This one was secondhand, actually, so a bit less expensive than if it had been new. But it was still rather significant an investment, at the time.

I thought I?d produce much better coffee. It took me a fairly large number of attempts to get to the same quality I was getting out of the poppers, in part because the i-Roast 2 seems not to be properly calibrated. I reach second crack when the temperature reading is at less than 400?F. The programs I created are all a good 50?F off from what one would expect. Been assuming that it?s just an offset, but it could be even wronger than that.

I have a few other issues with the i-Roast 2 and I?ve been compiling something of a wishlist about what I might want from the next model, if they ever build one (and elusive ?i-Roast 3?). Thing is, it doesn?t sound like they?ve been developing a new roaster.

Apart from the lack of calibration, the main issue I have with the i-Roast 2 is that I can?t control temperature in real time. The main item on my roaster wishlist is a way to track and log temperature as directly as possible. In the beginning, I would press the temperature button on the iR2 every 15 seconds and log that temperature on paper or on a handheld device. One issue there is that it?d fluctuate quite widely during the couple of seconds the temperature shows up so I?d log the range each time. I also had to add the program?s steps to my log. I even tried logging voltage (bought a voltmeter) which actually didn?t seem to be an issue. It was all so convoluted that I stopped doing this. Programming the iR2 is also quite cumbersome so I end up using two fairly simple programs I?ve created.

So I?ve been looking to buy another roaster. Most of them are quite expensive and none of them really has the features I?ve been dreaming about.

Which leads me to the option of ?building my own dream roaster? by modding a popper.

In terms of skills, I?m at a huge disadvantage. I basically have none of the skills required to build my own roaster. I?m willing to learn, of course, but it?s quite significant an investment and would make no sense if I were to do it on my own.

As explained in other threads, I have access to a FabLab and contacts with people who could be labeled as ?makers?. It?s a completely new world, for me. The thing I didn?t mention before is that collaborating with this FabLab and group of makers can be part of my work. Having a project to bring to the FabLab could allow me to do what, in ethnography, we call ?participant-observation?. It?s one thing to go and look at what other people are doing, there. But I?d need to have my own project to really involve myself with that group.

I also think that a coffee-related project will get some makers interested in the geeky side of coffee making. My not-so-secret goal is to enhance the home part of the ongoing coffee revolution. A large part of this comes from my involvement in the beer world, where the ?Craft Beer Revolution? was fuelled in large part by homebrewing.
Beer Eye for the Coffee Guy (or Gal) | Disparate
More specifically, I think homeroasting can have a significant part to play in the next phases of change in the coffee world:
Homeroasting and Coffee Geekness | Disparate

So, there?s a social aspect to building my own roaster, in specific ways. I see homeroasting as a way to enhance social change and I?d like to use a roaster building project as a way to enter a group.

Which is where HRO comes in?
There are several places for homeroasters online. Over the years, I?ve gravitated towards several of them, but I never saw much of a sense of community in any of them. Homebrewers often have clubs, with monthly meetings, and I was able to join a number of brewers in different places where I lived. Homeroasters have either not achieved critical mass in any of the cities where I?ve lived or are disinterested in creating local groups. So there are places where people can exchange ideas but I?ve rarely been able to taste coffees with another homeroaster (though I?ve personally known several of them). At most, we were able to do a bulk order together. But it?s not with homeroasters that I was able to discuss coffee.

I?m quite sure I?ve passed by HRO on occasion. As an outsider, the impression I got was that it was meant explicitly for those who build their own roasters. I realize(d) that there are plenty of other discussions about roasting coffee at home, but it looked like the main reason to get involved, here, is if you want to build some kind of roasting contraption.

This was before I saw the community management work done by ginny and others. I?m really not kidding when I say that it makes the whole difference in the world. For the first time in 10 years, I get to see homeroasters take part in something I recognize as a community. I?ll surely use HRO as an example in academic contexts!

And it gets me motivated to build my own roaster. Not only do I want to use my roaster building project as a way to collaborate with local makers, but I?m getting an incentive to build a roaster to ?show off? to HRO members. Taking pictures of my i-Roast 2 wouldn?t make much sense. If I can manage to create my own roaster or significantly mod an existing device, I?ll make sure to post pictures here.

As motivations go, building a roaster to get pictures on a site makes a lot of sense!
Alex Enkerli
i-Roast 2
Roasting since 2002
Koffee Kosmo
Hi Enkerli

The I Roast is basically a redesigned popcorn machine
The reason I built my own roaster was to get more volume of beans roasted per roast session
For me one weeks consumption is 600 gr to 800 gr and I did not want to do multiple roasts

Have a look at a few designs posted by the members to see what suits you

I home roast and I like it. Designer of the KKTO
Roaster Build information
Blog -

Bezzera Strega, Mazzer Robur Grinder, Pullman Tamper Convex,
(KKTO) Turbo Oven Home Roaster.
Alex - first we are about roasting at home. Second we are about building roasters when for financial or availability reasons commercial roasters just don't meet our needs. I know that with help you can get your roaster where you want. Just ask away and we will answer! Cheers!
Honey badger 1k, Bunn LPG-2E, Technivorm, Cimbali Max Hybrid, Vibiemme Double Domo V3
I've bought a GeneCafe, it kept failing (bad batch of circuit boards), so I bought a heatgun and thermometer, enjoyed the control I have. so I've built a PID controlled fluid bed. Then the GeneCafe got fixed with a 3rd circuit board. I only use the GeneCafe when I have to, when my fluid bed is undergoing modifications.

So I find that the roaster I like using is the one that allows me to roast in the way that I like, allows feedback and control to execute my planned roast profile. To find a ready made roaster with that level of control will have to be a commercial one, outside the home roaster's budget and batch size.

While building may not be for everyone, the learning curve to build a roaster is getting much smaller considering all the fully documented project here. In fact, some DIY roasters are very close to buying a ready made roaster. Consider the Heat gun/bread machine (coretto) method. By using certain brand/models, you may not need to do much to get it to work, can be had for less than $50. Add a thermocouple and you can have it logged. Later on, you can even throw in a PID to control the heat gun.
Wa'il. 1 Kg PID'ed gas-fired fluid bed roaster, GS/3MPS, K10F
This is an interesting discussion, but I think there are several points not yet brought up.
For myself, I like self-built items. It gives me great satisfaction to have something that I made work. For example, I made the TV antenna so that we could drop our cable/satellite costs.
However, despite that my first search is for a commercially made roaster. Primarily because I have but 2 years experience roasting, and companies who build them have a lot more money and time to invest in the development process. There are so many variables to the roasting process that having something pre-built is a great convenience for me , especially if it also offers me more control over the roasting process.

That being said, my circumstances and desires in a roaster are starting to rapidly eliminate options from my line-up.
My particular punch list involves a maximum batch size of at least 3/4 lb, back-to-batch roasting ability (really hard to find this trait), I'd also like to be able to control the roast profiles because I enjoy experimentation, and (last but probably first) I really can't spend a mint on it. I've seen roasters that have all but the last trait, but I really can't drop $5k on a roaster especially when I barely make $25/month roasting for friends.

I liked the looks of the Behmor 1600, and the Gene Cafe, but since they seem to dislike repeat usage, I seem to be back to building one.
I started with a hot air popper. Amazed at the great results compared with the very low entry cost.

Since then I have added a skillet, a dog bowl and heat gun, a Behmor and have built a drum. I have made cooling trays, cooling mechanisms with fans, and other junk.

Present setup is home-made stainless drum in a propane BBQ grill, with a good sized motor to tumble them.

And yet Saturday I roasted with my popper to get enough ready for two pots - just a quickie.
Brett Mason
balancing faith and family
over a cup of homeroast glory!
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